Jiangmen to build RMB100b cluster

The government of Jiangmen has set its sights on creating New Energy Vehicle industrial cluster in the city, potentially worth as much as RMB100 bn.

There is a way to go. Last year, the NEV and related equipment industry contributed just RMB17 billion to Jiangmen’s GDP. However, the city government has recently released a new plan to “actively push forward” development of the industry. 

Cash subsidies are on the way for NEV enterprises with a capital investment of RMB2 billion and related equipment manufacturers with an investment of RMB1 billion. 

Jiangmen will have competition. Most cities in the GBA have a liking for the NEV industry. Dongguan is particularly focused on it. In 2017, China’s leading auto manufacturer, Dongfeng Motor, invested RMB4 in Dongguan’s Heshan to build an NEV commercial vehicle base to specifically serve certain industries: e-commerce, supermarkets, postal logistics and special vehicles for municipal sanitation facilities. 

Jiangmen also pledged to ensure all its public transportation would be electric-powered by 2020, and to spread a dense network of charging stations across the city for private cars. 

Read more (in Chinese).

Port innovation center set for Guangzhou

A 5G-enabled “port innovation center” will be built in Guangzhou, it was announced at the International Ports Conference in Guangzhou on Wednesday. 

The new wireless-standard technology will be used in distress alerts, auxiliary navigation, and smart customs clearance, among others. Guangzhou will also take advantage of blockchain and autopilot technology to provide smarter port services in the near future, according to an official statement. 

The agreement was signed by five parties, including Huawei, China Unicom, Guangzhou Port Authority, Guangzhou Port Group and Guangdong Communications & Networks Institute. 

Among the world’s 10 busiest ports, seven are in China, and three are in the Greater Bay Area – Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong – according to data from the World Shipping Council.Read more (in Chinese).

Guangzhou’s Conghua district a hot spot

Guangzhou’s northeastern Conghua district attracted 360,000 tourists during the recent four-day Labor Day holiday. The draw? “Getting out into the countryside” promotions. Tourists were apparently drawn to the district’s hot springs, village walking, and fruit-picking activities.

The district is known for its natural beauty and family-oriented activities. These generated tourism-related revenue of RMB115 million over the four days. By comparison, Macau welcomed just over 600,000 tourists in the same period. But there are no prizes for guessing what drew them there: it is pretty much the opposite of getting out into the countryside.

Read more (in Chinese).

Guangzhou-Macau business booms

Trade volumes between Guangzhou and Macau jumped to US$485 million in 2018, up 40.9% year on year, according to official statistics. As of March, Guangzhou has 430 projects invested in by Macau enterprises, worth US$681 million, while Guangzhou has set up 23 in Macao, worth US$199 million. 

Macau also launched a weeklong promotional event in Guangzhou on May 9 to promote Macau, Portuguese products, food and fashion as well as technology and innovation. Read more (in Chinese).

Hong Kong issues four more virtual bank licenses

Hong Kong’s monetary authority has issued four virtual banking licenses to applicants affiliated with a trio of China’s largest technology companies as well as the city’s stock exchange, in a move to speed up disruption and innovation in one of the world’s best served financial centers, reports the SCMP.

The four new licenses have gone to Ping An Insurance’s subsidiary Ping An OneConnect, Ant Financial Services’ unit Ant SME Services, a Xiaomi-AMTD Group venture called Insight Fintech HK, and the Infinium consortium that includes Tencent Holdings, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX). 

The latest permits add to the four that the monetary authority (HKMA) has already issued since March to spur competition and innovation. 

Read more.

Shenzhen #1 in China

Here is one of those only-in-China accolades: the density of the road network within Shenzhen’s three administrative districts of Futian, Luohu and Nanshan is ranked top in the country, according to a road network report released by China Academy of Urban Planning & Design. It has reached 9.50 – which means there are 9.50 km of roads for every square kilometer of land available.

It is not what springs immediately to mind – of concrete jungles – however, as anyone who has visited Shenzhen can attest. Higher density also suggests higher walkability of a city, allowing people to “more intimately feel the community life”, apparently. 

The report looked at 36 major Chinese cities and concluded that the average road density of these cities stands at 5.96 km per square kilometer. Shenzhen’s road density level is way ahead, followed by Fujian’s Xiamen (8.49) and Sichuan’s Chengdu (8.07). All three cities have achieved the national target of 8. 

Among the country’s three other Tier One cities, Shanghai has 7.15, Guangzhou 7.06 and Beijing 5.65. 

Read more (in Chinese).

Zhuhai boosted by Gree as investment slows

Zhuhai’s economy is being held aloft at an above-average growth rate by its key industrial enterprises, especially Gree Group, the home-appliances king, latest data show. However, investment has been slowing recently, and foreign trade is under pressure, with exports declining sharply in Q1.

In Q1, the city’s GDP rose 7.4%, a percentage point above the national average, to RMB67.168 billion. It was the third-fastest growing city in the Greater Bay Area, behind Dongguan and Shenzhen. This was despite a YoY decline of -2.8% in the primary sector (raw materials). Industrial production was up 7.7%, thanks to the contributions of large-scale enterprises. Services were up 7.5%, with retail sales showing a recovery from a slump last year.

Gree, led by the formidable Dong Mingzhu, winner of a billion-yuan bet recently with Xiaomi chairman Lei Jun, had a strong quarter. The city’s home appliance industry was up 21%. The bio-pharmaceutical industry was next best at +12%, while precision instruments and petrochemicals came in at +9.0% and +7.6%, respectively. However, the electronic information industry saw anemic growth, up just1.6%.

More worrying was investment. Overall investment, at +5.7%, was several percentage points slower than the same period last year. This was due to a slump in private-sector investment, which was down 5.9% in the quarter. 

Trade is clearly feeling the effects of a weakening external environment.The total volume of imports and exports was -11.4% YoY, pulled down by a -19% plunge in exports.

Foreign direct investment rose by just1.6%.

In the services sector, retail sales are recovering and domestic demand is improving. Tourism is being seen as a key driver of future growth in Zhuhai. This is especially considering the Hengqin Railway Station opens at the end of the year, which is expected to boost arrivals to the seaside city. The Zhuhai-Hengqin Intercity Railway Line will improve access to both the Chimelong Ocean Resort – which opens a big new phase this year – and the soon-to-open Novotown resort in Hengqin.Read more here (in Chinese).

Dongguan to link with Shenzhen

Work on Phase 3 of Dongguan’s Metro Line 2 is under way. It will run from the Humen Railway Station and end at the Jiaoyi Wan Station (交椅湾站) in the Binghai Wan New District (滨海湾新区). That is where it will connect up with Shenzhen’s Metro line 20, which is currently being built northward from the Baoan International Airport in Fuyong.

The new phase is about 17 km long, with eight stations planned. It is a continuation of the existing Line 2 which begins at the Dongguan Train Station in the north. The Binghai Wan Station, situated at the border between Dongguan and Shenzhen, will be a hub linking up with the High-speed Railway and Intercity Railway Lines. 

Read more (in Chinese).

Shenzhen to build two more big stations

Shenzhen has big plans as a railway hub for the region, according to a new masterplan released this week. In addition to its own extensive metro network, the city will build two new high-speed railway stations. 

Under a masterplan that will run until 2030, which was recently approved by China Railway Corp. and the provincial government, the two new stations, Xili Station and Shenzhen Airport Station, will bring the total number of the major railway stations in the city to seven.

Xili Station in Nanshan District will mainly serve as a key node on the future Coastal Passenger Special Line, as well as the existing High-Speed Railway lines running between Shenzhen and Maoming (in the far west of Guangdong) and Ganzhou (in Jiangxi province, to the north). Some trains on the Shenzhen-Huizhou and Shenzhen-Zhuhai Intercity Railway Lines (under construction) will also make stops at the station.

The Coastal Passenger Special Line will run along the country’s eastern coast linking the Greater Bay Area with the Yangtze River Delta around Shanghai and Hangzhou. Upon completion It will take about two hours from Shenzhen to Xiamen (currently it takes about 3.5 hours) and six hours to Shanghai (currently eight).

According to the plan, the city will have three main “hub stations”: Shenzhen North Railway Station, Xili Station and Shenzhen Station (Luohu). Four others will serve as “auxiliary stations”: Shenzhen East Station, Futian Station, Shenzhen Airport Station and Pingshan Station.

Read more (in Chinese).

Beckham brings London to Macau

Sands China Ltd, owner of the dominant cluster of resorts in Macau’s Cotai district, unveiled its plans today for a US$2.2 billion investment that will create The Londoner Macao. Alongside The Parisian Macao, which opened in 2016, and The Venetian Macao, which opened in 2007, The Londoner Macao is actually just a renovation of the current Sands Cotai Central integrated resort. But its upgrade will see the addition of some new and bigger rooms, plus a façade makeover that will include a likeness of Big Ben and Westminster.

David Beckham, former footballer and British celebrity, was in Macau for the press conference. As can be seen on his Facebook page, they also released a fun new video of him running around London putting post-it notes on iconic buildings and other famous objects that he wants to be moved to Macau.See the story here and the video here.